Accident McDonnell Douglas MD 500E (369E) ZS-RFJ, 04 Apr 2005
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 272615
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Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas MD 500E (369E)
Registration: ZS-RFJ
MSN: 0522E
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:On top of the house at Torquay road, Lakefield in Benoni -   South Africa
Departure airport:Rand Aerodrome (FAGM)
Destination airport:Springs Aerodrome (FASI)
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On 04 April 2005 at approximately 1330Z, an MD 369E helicopter, Registration No: ZS-RFJ, owned and operated by the South African Police Services (SAPS) crashed onto a residential house in Lakefield, Benoni. The aircraft was engaged in a law-enforcing flight with three occupants on board. The pilot and the crew member (sitting in the back seat) were seriously injured and the crew member (sitting in the left front seat) was fatally injured. The aircraft was destroyed during the impact sequence and the house was substantially damaged. The last Mandatory Periodic Inspection (MPI) prior to the accident was carried out on 07 March 2005 with a total of 3560.4 airframe hours. The aircraft had flown a total of 33.6 airframe hours since the last MPI was carried out. The SAPS operated their own Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO165) which was audited on 13 September 2004 prior to the accident, and no major findings were reported by the authorities' audit team. The AMO who was responsible for maintenance of the aircraft was audited on 13 January 2005 prior to the accident. According to the SACAA records at the time of compiling this report, no major findings were identified. The AMO (NAC 027) who performed the maintenance on the engine prior to the accident was audited on 06 September 2004 by SACAA. According to available records, no major findings were identified at the time of compiling this report. Probable Cause During the flight, a turbine blade failure caused an engine surge and with subsequent loss of engine power. The helicopter entered into a left-hand turn from which the pilot was unable to recover. A contributing factor could have been the lack of experience on the aircraft type by the helicopter pilot.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA SouthAfrica
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:


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